She may appear calm, but Amanda Knox’s fate still very much hangs in the balance.
The convicted murderess arrived in Perugia Friday morning with all the pomp and circumstance of a true celebrity. She was in court again to find out if she would have to face a criminal trial for slandering the police. But the swirl of activity around her will reach its fevered pitch on November 24 when her lawyers launch her appeal. Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her accomplice, will be in court together—although their lawyers have filed separate briefs—each appealing various aspects of the convicting judge’s reasoning. Two judges and a six-person jury will hear the appeals, and the process is expected to take five or six audiences and extend into 2011.
Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito have each asked for an independent review of much of the forensic evidence, which, if granted, could work to their advantage. The court could reconsider hotly contested items like the knife thought to be the murder weapon, Kercher’s bra clasp that has Sollecito’s DNA on it, and spots of Knox’s DNA and Kercher’s blood found in the house. But an independent review could also work against them if the results confirm the previous findings. The new judge and jury could chose to overturn the conviction, reduce the sentence, or add more time to their prison terms.
The new judge and jury could chose to overturn the conviction, reduce the sentence, or add more time to their prison terms.
When Knox showed up in Perugia, she was met like a true celebrity. The television cameramen lined up to get a shot of the familiar blue police van that made the short trip from Capanne prison. Journalists swarmed her lawyers as they walked into the courthouse. There was a buzz in the air about a film adaptation of the trial. The court was closed to the press, but a few intrepid journalists snuck in to get a glimpse of Knox. Soon word leaked out that she was wearing black pants and a white shirt. When all was said and done, the judge adjourned the case until November 8. But there was no real story. At least nothing to merit the type and amount of attention bestowed on the 23-year-old celebrity from Seattle.
The phenomenon of Amanda Knox is one of the most peculiar aspects of this now-three-year-long saga. No one talks about Meredith Kercher, the 22-year-old British student Knox was convicted of killing. Few even mention Sollecito or Rudy Guede, also convicted of Kercher’s murder. Finding out how Knox feels (anxious), looks (pale), and what she’s doing in prison (singing in the upcoming Christmas concert) has become a cottage industry for journalists, documentary filmmakers, and movie producers. Of the countless books written about her ( including one by this author), the latest was by an inmate who got to know her on the prison grounds.
“All this interest in Amanda is hard to understand, especially for Amanda,” Luciano Ghirga, her lawyer, told The Daily Beast. “She’s nervous and anxious to get this behind her. She is looking forward to her appeal…She is trying to stay calm.”
Barbie Latza Nadeau, author of the Beast Book Angel Face, about Amanda Knox, has reported from Italy for Newsweek Magazine since 1997. She also writes for CNN Traveller, Budget Travel Magazine and Frommer's.